When you consider the extensive scope of the work that our donors make possible, both in urban America and around the world, you might be prone to ask how we are able to accomplish so much on a very limited budget. The answer is that many of our hardest workers serve without pay as volunteers!
I recently returned from Miami, Florida, where I spent the day visiting the work of one of our Affiliated Ministries, Born to Serve, which was founded by one of our most dedicated and generous volunteers, Camille Donato-LeClair. For over a decade, Camille has donated her time and talents to serve and support our ministry programs. When one of our Core Ministries, such as Haiti Partners or UrbanPromise, hosts a fund-raising dinner, Camille can be found in the kitchen directing the food preparation and then supervising the young people who serve our guests. She graciously provides these services below cost, which helps keep our fundraising expenses as low as possible.
Born to Serve is a catering service that, among other things, provides paid employment to more than a dozen inner-city teenagers, most of whom have never had a job before, but now are learning valuable culinary skills under the tutelage and care of Camille. Like all of the leaders of our ministry programs, Camille is an entrepreneur for the Kingdom. She recently teamed up with Camillus House, a ministry committed to serving the poor and oppressed in Miami-Dade County in South Florida. Through her mother-infant initiative, Laura-Immanuel’s Cradle, and in partnership with Camillus House’s Health Care Concern program, Camille is helping young, unwed mothers receive the care and support they need to bring their babies to term and to provide a safe and nurturing environment after they are born.
When Urban Promise Miami (UPM) launched its first summer camp program two years ago, Camille and several Born to Serve staff traveled from New Jersey to help implement a healthy and sustainable food program (including nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks) for the more than 100 children and teenagers participating in UPM’s Camp Courage.
From Camille Donato-LeClair to Allyn Lehman, who has voluntarily processed our donor contributions each week for the past 20 years, the list of committed people who have given their time and talents goes on and on. Volunteers have not only assisted our regular staff workers and missionaries, but also have undertaken major projects such as constructing library shelving for our inner-city schools and building alterations and repairs on the facilities of our various EAPE community centers.
Perhaps now you have a better understanding of how we are able to do so much on such a limited budget, and why we have earned a 4-Star rating for efficiency and good stewardship from Charity Navigator. This is why I can promise that your gifts to EAPE will go farther to carry out the work of God’s Kingdom than most people could ever imagine. I call upon you to do even more in the way of giving, because the more you give, the more EAPE can do.